Korea is #waiting for your future international association events
With a clear and transparent set of protocols for business events and the safety of its people and visitors, South Korea will be in demand for those stakeholders seeking a suitable destination for future international events.
Well known for their lead in technology, Korea quickly developed a mobile tracing app, which all visitors must download upon entering the country. Free, fast testing, combined with the app, ensures most cases are identified and contained quickly. Known as Untact, contactless systems from cashless payment, QR readers and more, facilitate the new way to eat, meet and enjoy. Hotels were also quick to roll this out, from Korea’s own international chain, Lotte Hotels & Resorts, to the many international global brands, visitors check in, unlock hotel rooms, choose and order from a menu, safely.
Events may take place in a COVID secure manner. Similar protocols are employed across the many convention centres and meeting hotels. These include: • All visitors must wear face masks • Sanitiser mists, thermometers or thermal imaging cameras are installed at the entrance and visitors are screened again before entering the halls • Strict distancing of 1.5 metres is enforced and visitors are encouraged to sanitise their hands • Convention Centres provide external quarantine tent and ambulances on stand-by • Event venues and organisers work in tandem to ensure each has clear responsibility for standards • Plain sight, frequent cleaning operations • Delegates are re-registered on entry to check their details, reassure they do not have, nor have come into contact with anyone with, covid symptoms, and delegate lists maintained for 14-21 days post event in case of a need to track and trace.
As a result, Korea’s Convention and Exhibition venue KINTEX was not only instrumental in assisting the joint industry Good Practice Guide for reopening centres on May 5 , but also hosted one of the first live, in person, events for 35,000 pax on 8 May 2020.
‘UNIQUE VENUES’ FOR THE SOCIALLY DISTANCED AND CONTACTLESS ‘UNTACT’ ERA
A total of 13 new locations have been added to the list of Unique Venues – bringing it to a total of 40 Unique Venues for 2020, identified by The Ministry for Culture and Tourism, and KoreaMICE Bureau, for business event organisers. While the original list highlighted venues that facilitated the smooth operation of traditional offline events, this year’s additions were selected with the current era of ‘untact’ or contactless and ‘virtual’ events in mind. They are all venues that feature distinctive architectural beauty, interesting concepts or stories, and can be appreciated virtually, as well as up close and in person – such as galleries, museums and performance spaces.
Highlights of the latest Unique Venues added to this year’s list include the Tri-Bowl in the futuristic city of Songdo, 25 minutes from Incheon International Airport. Tri-Bowl is a multi-complex culture and arts centre designed as if it is floating on water. The venue looks as good on the outside as it does on the inside and has an auditorium for 350 pax, amongst other multi-purpose spaces.
In Seoul, in the centre of the Han River, a natural island has been developed into a cultural complex focusing on ecology, music and the arts – Nodeul Island (Nodeulseom) was completed and fully opened last autumn and offers both stunning sunsets across the Seoul cityscape, as well as several levels of events space (a gross area 9,747 sqm). Also in Seoul, the Oil Tank Culture Park, a disused oil storage depot, is now a Brutalist events arena. The five tanks have been turned into performance venues, exhibition halls and a multi-purpose pavilion. The large outdoor space, which was once used as a parking lot, is now being used as a culture plaza. The 140,000 sqm-wide open field, the size of 22 football stadia, can host larger-scale events, festivals and workshops.
OUTDOOR SPACE TO MEET AND ENJOY
Nearly every hotel and event space offers plenty of outdoor space, and the mild dry springs and autumns make it attractive to offer welcome receptions, breakout meetings and end of conference parties outside.
ON YOUR BIKE
The government has invested in miles of dedicated cycle paths in the cities and countryside, and it is simple to offer social meet ups in a convention’s lunch hour with cycle tours of Seoul, or close the day’s proceedings with a cycle ride along the Han river, with popular Chimaek (Beer & Chicken) picnics in one of the many parks. Several organisers offer 80+ cycles to rent, with cycling guides, and they deliver and pick up the cycles from anywhere.
IN THE MOMENT
The recently amplified trend for wellness and mindfulness within business events is easily included, such as a short term ‘Temple Stay’. There are a range of temples located in stunning locations including in the centre of Seoul overlooking COEX or in a forest. Without leaving the city limits, delegates can engage with monks and nuns from as little as an hour or overnight, and learn about their ways, take a tea ceremony, learn to cook Buddhist food or enjoy a meditative walk in the grounds.
NEW HOTELS AND CONVENTION SPACES
Despite this difficult year, new hotels have opened on time across Korea, and more are on schedule to open in the autumn, each with extensive meeting facilities, including: Lotte Hotels and Resorts’ stunning Signiel Busan, opened in June 2020. In July 2020 Wyndham Ramada Plaza Yeousu opened, with a Ramada Gumi to open in October. The Grand Hyatt Jeju will open towards the end of this year, and will be the largest Grand Hyatt in Asia with 1,600 bedrooms and meeting space for 360 pax. Additionally, Seoul has plans for a new convention complex, not far from COEX, with a planned completion date of 2025. Just outside Seoul – 40 mins on the KTX ‘bullet train’ – plans are also underway for a new convention centre in South Chungcheong Province (Chungnam-do). The expected completion date is 2023.
SUPPORT FOR EVENTS
Korea is determined that the range of facilities for international events remains highly competitive as is the range of support offered by the national Bureau KoreaMICE, under Korea Tourism Organisation. Further support is offered by the regional bureaux. Currently the national and regional bureaux are offering enhanced support to assist those with events planned and running until end June 2021, such as hygiene packs and hybrid tech. More can be found on the convention bureau website www.koreaconvention.org 5G has been in Korea for two years, and tech-related events are strong, and there are plenty of business reasons for convening in Korea, from Automotive, Manufacture, R&D, Life Sciences, as well as architecture and design, fashion and the arts – not to forget that Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite won four Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director at this year’s Oscars.
For further information about Korea and the KoreaMICE Bureau’s support for business events, please contact the Appointed MICE Representatives: Anne Ridyard, Moulden Marketing Ltd. Tel: +44 1628 526184 KoreaMice@moulden-marketing.co.uk www.koreaconvention.org
Published Date: 01/10/2020